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Specialty Profiles: Roy Milton

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Album Review

As part of the Specialty Profiles series, New Orleans vocalist, bandleader, and drummer Roy Milton & His Solid Senders are highlighted with 14 tunes recorded for the label between 1945 and 1953. Not as raucous as future rock & roll pioneers on the Specialty roster like Little Richard and Lloyd Price, Roy Milton & His Solid Senders specialized in West Coast blues: laid-back, after-hours jazz combined with jump blues. The combo chalked up several hits for the label, including "True Blues," "Hop, Skip & Jump," "Information Blues," "Oh Babe!," "Best Wishes," and his first smash, "R.M. Blues." A major contributor to Milton's sound was Camille Howard, who went on to record for Specialty in her own right; she contributed both vocals and boogie piano, best represented here on her showcase performance of "Thrill Me." If you don't own any Roy Milton material, this mid-priced compilation is a good place to start. As an extra bonus, the Specialty Profiles series includes a sampler that showcases R&B gems by Specialty acts of the era, including Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Larry Williams, Lloyd Price, Percy Mayfield, Don & Dewey, Joe Liggins, Jesse & Marvin, and Guitar Slim.


Born: July 31, 1907 in Wynnewood, OK

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s

As in-the-pocket drummer of his own jump blues combo, the Solid Senders, Roy Milton was in a perfect position to drive his outfit just as hard or soft as he so desired. With his stellar sense of swing, Milton did just that; his steady backbeat on his 1946 single for Art Rupe's fledgling Juke Box imprint, "R.M. Blues," helped steer it to the uppermost reaches of the R&B charts (his assured vocal didn't hurt either). Milton spent his early years on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma (his maternal grandmother...
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